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Fourth Grade, September 27,2019

General Studies

Things have been bustling in the General Studies Room over the last two weeks.  Students are getting to know each other, the routines of the classroom, and the expectations of life in the Fourth Grade

In Writer’s Workshop we are learning about Realistic Fiction, stories that are grounded in reality but that did not actually happen.  We have talked about the characters in stories and the fact that they have both external traits, such as being short, that can be seen and internal traits,  such as determination, that cannot be seen. Both traits will be important in a story about a boy who wants to be a good basketball player. We also talked about the importance of knowing what your character wants in the story and the various obstacles that can get in the way. Children are in various stages of planning and drafting their own Realistic Fiction Stories. You might ask your child what his or her story is about. 

In Math we are finishing up a unit on working whole numbers up to 100.000 with a focus on place value, addition, subtraction, and estimation.  We played some games that build on these skills. Ask your child what their favorite game is: Ten Doors, Stepping Stones, Racing Dice with Three Dice, or the DIffy Game. 

In Social Studies we are finishing up a short unit on how where Native American tribes lived affected how they lived.  Students looked at the climate in various regions and read about how that climate as well as nearby bodies of water affected the houses tribes built, the food they ate, and the clothing they wore.  Look for writing and drawings that share this work on the bulletin board outside our classroom in the coming days.

The amount of homework assigned is slowly increasing, and we are up to about forty minutes a night.  You can help your child by asking them to reread their homework to make sure that writing includes proper capitalization and punctuation and that all parts of the assignment have been completed in good detail.  In math remind them to show their work, and for reading ask if they have filled in their reading log. 

On Monday afternoon we met with our Kindergarten Buddies for the second time, joining them for a recess in the school yard. Buddy pairs could be seen drawing with chalk, shooting baskets, playing horses, and playing hide and seek.  Fourth graders learned that some people can be slow to warm up, as a few Kindergartners refused to participate in any of the many activities their buddy suggested. We’ll keep working on that! 

And a final request from me!  Please make every effort to email changes in dismissal plans before noon.  I definitely check my email at lunchtime but cannot guarantee checking it after lunch since I am teaching!  Thanks so much for your help here, as we of course want everyone to get home safely.  

Best Wishes for a very Happy Rosh Hashanah with all of your loved ones,


Judaic Studies

In the past weeks we have been learning all about the simanim (the symbolic foods that are blessed at the Rosh HaShannah meals around the world).
We learned about the differences between the traditional foods eaten by Sephardim and Ashkenazim eat, as well as what foods are common to both groups.
Learning about the different traditions of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews inspired great conversations about our own origins.
The students spoke about the 5 steps of Teshuva (repentance) and discussed which step is the hardest one for each of us to follow.
Fourth grade students reviewed the Shofar sounds(Tekia, Shvarim, Truah, Tekia Gedola), as well as the blessing we recite prior to listening to the Shofar.
We also learned the reasons Rabbi Saadia Ha Gaon gave for blowing the Shofar in Rosh hashana.
The children are truly excited to welcome the Jewish New Year!
4th grade showed Hakarat ha Tov (gratitude) to our guard John in his last day of work. The students made  good luck and thank you cards for the occasion. 
Looking forward to learning together in the weeks ahead. 
Wishing everyone Shana Tova u Metuka!




Hebrew 4th grade :

Students learned and reviewed the vocabulary related to the topic “Our house “. They applied this vocabulary while making a short video at home.

The students studied new vocabulary related to the topic of chores by recounting their own chores. The students brainstormed on the topic in class. We will continue to discuss their favorite and least favorite chores and their own experience.

The 4th grade Hebrew Heritage group finished their first project: descriptions of their imaginary home while using familiar lexicon and new, unfamiliar vocabulary. The students started to work on the second project: “Personal Passports”.  Students will learn about different places, cultures in the world. The students will continue to study new vocabulary and will participate in role-playing dialogues, which will give them an opportunity to grasp better the new vocabulary and to apply their knowledge in authentic situations.

Art with Iviva:

We have been continuing one of our favorite activities: weaving. This year, we are incorporating shapes inspired by weavings of Native Americans to coincide with our social studies unit. We looked at artwork by contemporary Navajo weaver, D. Y. Begay. We watched a video of her weaving, and saw how she uses fungi, plants and soils she finds outside her studio to dye wool from her sister’s sheep. She then spins the wool into yarn and weaves it. We are getting excited about the idea of dyeing our own yarns and creating a second, larger pictorial fabric with colors we create from plants. Below are some of our beginning tapestry weaving projects.